It Came From The Web! Weekly Gaming News — Oct. 14, 2012

It Came From The Web

For this week’s gaming news round-up, Pokemon invades trains, Wii U is made by wee people, and Zygna hunting down those trade secrets.

Happy Sunday, Peeps! Fun fact: I wrote this up on Friday! I’m most likely passed out somewhere right now; snoring and drowning in a puddle of my own drool after gaming 24 hours in Extra Life (check the Live Blog here!). Ah, sleep.

Anyhoo, let’s get down to business! Here was the news that was!

From The Intarwebs & Blogosphere

Gotta Catch ‘Em All… On The Train? — I love Pokemon, you love Pokemon, everyone loves Pokemon. Japan loves Pokemon; putting the lil’ critters on planes, on kitchenware… even on trains.

Beginning December 22, trains in Japan’s Tohouku region will be plastered with Pikachu, Togepi, and Oswalt. Curtains, carpets, the whole shebang.

You can check out the images below. I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this in my neck of the woods. I want to see someone dressed up as Snorlax ready to take my ticket.

Pokemon Train - 1

Don’t quite know how I feel about putting my butt on Oswalt’s face…

Pokemon Train - 2


Source: Japan is getting a Pokémon-themed train, [Eurogamer]


Industry SECRETS!!! — Okay, not really industry secrets. But Zygna has some concerns that one of their former employees might be spilling the beans about their projects and have launched a suit.

Ex-Zygna General Manager, Alan Patmore, has been accused of uploading a number of Internal files and assets to a Dropbox account from his work computer shortly before his departure. Joystiq reports that these files include (but not limited to) monetization plans, game mechanic documentation, and game design documents for an unannounced game.

Patmore now works for online gaming company, Kixeye, so Zygna’s main concern is that all the confidential info is being shared with their competitor. Zygna also said that Patmore refused to sign a special termination agreement, which reminds Patmore of the many things he agreed to when he joined Zygna… like to not steal company assets.

Zygna is working to make sure Patmore and Kixeye don’t use or have any access to those assets, as well as seeking damages.

So Zygna, who have been accused of stealing ideas from game developers left and right (like from EA), is now suing to prevent their own ideas from being stolen. Interesting…

Source: Zynga suing former Cityville GM over theft of trade secrets, [Joystiq]


Children Forced To Make Wii U Consoles — Not exactly the kind of news you want coming out about your new console a month before its intended launch.

Foxconn, the company mass producing Nintendo’s Wii U, has admitted to using Chinese children in their factories.

According to reports, the young workers, aged 14 to 16, were forced to work at Foxconn for school credit. If they didn’t go through with it, they wouldn’t have been able to graduate, or even get expelled.

“Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter,” a Nintendo rep said. “We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labour.

“If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy.”

News of Foxconn’s suspect conditions aren’t really new: Earlier in the year, Foxconn workers threatened mass suicide after a round of layoffs and closing down of an Xbox 360 production line, among other reports of employee discontent. With these sorts of reports floating around, it’s a wonder why manufacturers still use them to make their products!

Source: Nintendo investigating Wii U manufacturer Foxconn for using illegal child labour, [Eurogamer]


From Facebook

And I’m FREEEEEE! FREE FALLIN’! — Last week, Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke all sorts of records, including highest freefall from space.

Ubisoft Canada posted this on their page. The true record holder:

Assassin's Creed Freefall


From Twitter

Choice Tweets of the Week




Vid of the Week

Ah, Halo 4. Gamers were so excited about your upcoming release, they got their hands on your through torrent sites and were perma-banned from Xbox Live for it.

Now to continue to fuel this excitement, here’s a new trailer for the game. Because you kids like the Halo 4.


That’s all for this edition of It Came From Web! If you hear of any gaming news shenanigans over the week, give me a shout!

  • Pokemon train creeps me out, but being that they’ve already got buses, cars and planes on the list I figure that this was merely an inevitability on their path to becoming our cute, strangely powered overlords.

    I find Zynga’s ongoing plight delightfully ironic. In this economic climate, I feel a little bad about there being a company that is so easy to dislike, but Zynga remains unusually skilled at it.

    As for the chinese children in factories, it’s the price of making things affordable. Between taxes and brutal legislation, industry in the USA is more or less completely dead. My understanding is that this phenomenon has caught on and Chinese companies like Foxconn have been all too happy to take on the workload. But then, Foxconn is probably one of the worst considering there’s always some horrific human rights violation that manages to squeak out of the company every 5-6 months.

    And I guess that Halo 4 trailer was pretty neat. I just can’t get jazzed by Halo anymore even if they add freaky tron monsters with glowing human skulls.